Thursday, February 05, 2004

The Economist

I've written before about some great media outlets. Even with the current trouble the BBC is in, I still think it's one of the world's stellar new organizations. One glaringly mistake I made before was in not mentioning The Economist. Rare is the news org which aims for the meat of stories rather than the fluff. Rarer still is the org which has a grasp on issues and they affect the entire globe.

At example is a recent opinion article about the US dollar's devalution. I read much about the woes Europe is facing because of the huge devaluation with respect to the Euro. I've also read about why the Bush admin has perhaps encouraged the dollar to fall, making US goods cheaper to buy internationally. This is the first time I've seen any connections between these ideas, Asia's response to it, and most importantly, the effects on the global economy (especially related to the US's international debt.

Of course, this article is an opinion and not clear news, but it's just a single example of how amazingly well the staff at The Economist can put seemingly disparate pieces together into a whole which is much greater than the parts. It sounds geeky, but in reading this op/ed piece, my eyes literally bulged out and my jaw dropped (eg "WTF?!"). Not because I can't believe this is happening, but because the connections made in the op/ed piece make you think "Why has nobody else made these connections?!?!"

Even so, an Op/Ed piece is not news. The great part about the Economist is that the staff take pains to provide just these types of connections in their news coverage. And another step they take is to consider multiple angles and opposing forces (politics, social realities, etc) globally. This all contributes to a fact-based and logcally reasoned conclusion that considers much more than plain-vanilla economics.

Some of the Economist website is for paid subscribers, but much of it is free. I encourage you all to take a gander. If not online, then at the newsstand. I've found the magazine to be an invaluable resource to help understand the world at large and many of the forces which play into shaping the world in which we live today.

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